Time will tell if this year's EA Sports soccer game be more than just another Legacy Edition on Nintendo Switch.
Back in 2017, FIFA was featured as a core part of Nintendo's initial Switch marketing campaign. You could play some footie on the road. It's portable soccer! But after a decent outing in 2017, EA Sports' notable soccer franchise stalled. After a few minor tweaks in 2018's FIFA 19, every ensuing year featured a "Legacy Edition" - essentially just the same game as the 2018 release but with new rosters. This was an annual disappointment.
EA Sports is shedding the FIFA label this year and in its stead comes a new name for their soccer game: EA Sports FC. Today, Nintendo of America tweeted the logo for the game (in Switch Red). It reads "Join The Club this July" with no other real details.
Join The Club this July. #EASPORTSFC pic.twitter.com/l5PZlWLA6O— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 6, 2023
So what does this mean? Likely not much. The Switch is now more than six years old and it would be weird if EA put an effort now after not doing much of anything for nearly five years. There is hope, but outside of a new title screen and branding, I can't imagine that hope will amount to much more than the bones of FIFA 19 on Switch with a new hat.
The only trace of a mention of EA Sports FC 24 on Switch I found online is on the FIFA game series news site FIFAUTeam that proclaims that this version of the game will be another Legacy Edition. It's sad if true because EA Sports used to be a bigger presence on Nintendo systems, even if the Nintendo versions were always secondary. GameCube got nearly everything, even with some Punch-Out and Mario bonuses in Fight Night and NBA Street. Wii got distinct versions, focusing on motion controls and more cartoony characters. But after the Wii U and 3DS launches, which saw the likes of Madden and FIFA on the platforms, EA Sports took their ball and went home. For the sake of Wii U and 3DS, it might have made business sense, but the complete dismissal of the Switch on EA's behalf probably left success on the table. That first FIFA on Switch? It was pretty good. And while I'm a Madden junkie, I can imagine I'm not the only one who would play the snot out of a portable Madden on Switch. I played a lot of the horrific Steam version of Madden on my Steam Deck and that's an awful version of a game that is largely not regarded as a good entry in the franchise.
I had hoped this might be a more optimistic editorial, but I couldn't find any reason to have real hope that EA Sports FC will be more than a Legacy Edition. Prove me wrong, EA Sports. I want more sports games on Nintendo Switch. Sony is currently outdoing you on a console that isn't theirs.